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Dick LeBeau says Ryan Shazier will start this season

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Shazier will be the first rookie to start in Week 1 for the Steelers since Dick LeBeau became the defensive coordinator in 2004.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau confirmed what was fairly obvious.

Ryan Shazier will start this season.

Alan Robinson wrote in Monday's paper (posted Sunday night), "He's going to start. Yeah, he's going to start," LeBeau said. "Whether that was the situation or not (Shazier being a first rounder), he was going to start in the NFL. … We'll try not to overload him, but he's going to start, no question about it."

Robinson also mentioned Shazier will be the first rookie to start under LeBeau in Week 1.

It's not a surprise, nor is it unjustified. Shazier has lived up to his expectations so far in camp. While LeBeau was quick to be clear the team wouldn't throw too much at him right away, it's easy to see, based on practices, Shazier will move around inside and out as the Steelers look to exploit the level of athleticism they now have at the linebacker positions.

The Steelers have used Shazier outside while shifting Jarvis Jones inside in certain packages, leading to the idea the team could walk seven players up to the line of scrimmage and stunt in a variety of different directions.

The Steelers started two rookies last season, but neither Jarvis Jones nor Vince Williams started in Week 1. They both started in Week 2, Williams due to injury and Jones flip-flopping with Jason Worilds.